Had a chance to get to Stokes Hill VK5/NE-050 this weekend and decided to drive up from Clare this time, seeing I only had one summit to do this trip. Still have some summits at Quorn but the couple left to do are big hikes and I never booked any accommodation this week, had some bills to pay and work has been a bit quiet since grape harvest ended.
I hit the road at 5.00 am to make the trip and arrived at Horseshoe Range gate by 7.30 am it was very cold and word is about it was one of the heaviest frosts for many years. The main issue I was going to have was 4×4 driving up to Stokes Hill with the sun in the east making it hard for me to see the track with sun glare. I headed up to the start of the serious 4×4 part which is close to 5 km distance to the top in low 1st or 2nd in the Colorado. I wasted some more time lowering the air pressure in my tyres and mounting the Go Pro on the Ute to shoot some video. I headed off a little nervous as I was there by myself and totally alone for this trip, but I have done this climb before and I know my vehicle is able to do the job. Thinking hope I don’t stake a tyre or crunch underneath on a rock I did not see in the sun glare, but no need to worry just be careful and keep alert. The track was in good order really for what it is, I had to stop a couple times to shift a couple big rocks someone else had rumbled under their vehicle, It’s interesting seeing the crunch marks on rocks others have left.
Typical of this country rock and Spinafex Grass
Made the journey in good time which took about 50 minutes to the top .
Making my way along these tracks is much easier since Ben got his big bulldozer up there and improved the approach to the last hill climb, there was good traction and I have new tyres on my Ute set at 35 psi.
SOTA transporter parked at the top
That is the track below that I took ending up at the summit.
Trig Point on this summit.
40/20m link dipole set up with 80m extensions, thought about giving the FT 857 a run but ended up using the KX3
Hard at work in the pile ups only 2 QSO on 3.6 mhz but made several ssb QSO on 7 mhz and several on cw as well.
Got one dx to ZL1BYZ on 40 cw the rest were all vk 2 3 5 7 this time and a few repeat QSO on ssb and cw.
No answer to my cq on 15m cw this time and I think band conditions are not that good but still able to qualify the summit with 18 qso’s. Thanks to all the chasers.
Some of the down track was just as challenging as the up track .
I came down from up there .
The final decent to the flat lands and the end of the adventure with some SOTA thrown in.
Thanks to Ben and Sue for access to your property.
Thanks for reading my Blog.
Regards from Ian